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Friday, July 10, 2015

Deniers Forge Letters to Congress Long After Knowing Climate Science is Solid

by ClimateDenierRoundupFollow for Climate Hawks, Daily Kos, July 10, 2015

The Union of Concerned Scientists released a report with a treasure trove of primary documents from fossil fuel companies and their lobbying efforts and front groups. Here's a glimpse of what we're dealing with: industry front group astroturf campaigns, forged letters to Congress, and bought off scientists.

While those fluent in denial tactics won't be surprised by most of the revelations, there are still new outrages to get your heart rate going. The coverage has largely focused on Exxon's knowledge of the climate-carbon relationship as early as 1981 and subsequent neglect, but The Climate Deception Dossiers reveal even more sinister tactics employed by fossil fuel companies, as well as their front groups and PR hires. The primary documents reveal how companies secretly funded Willie Soon for his climate denial science, how fossil fuel lobby groups planned their campaigns of climate deceit climate deceit after internal memos acknowledged in 1995 that the link between climate change and carbon emissions "cannot be denied," and perhaps most shockingly, how a PR firm sent out forged letters to Congress before crucial votes.

The firm sent the letters—assuming the identity and misrepresenting the stance of civil rights organizations like NAACP—while Congress debated the Waxman-Markey bill (which proposed a federal emissions reduction plan). Congress members were unaware that in fact it was the PR firm, Bonner and Associates—working for the coal industry front group American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity—that sent the oppositional letters. ACCCE and Bonner didn't bother telling the lawmakers about the forgeries until after the votes were recorded.

To make matters even worse, Bonner and Associates not only coopted a defunct chapter of the NAACP for their forgery, they even signed it as a staffer who had long since passed away.

Because just when you thought the bar couldn't get lower, deniers found a way to dig six feet under it.

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